Sizing John Out For The Rest Of The Season

Sizing John Out For The Rest Of The Season

Jessica Harrington has sadly confirmed that her 2017 Cheltenham Gold Cup victor Sizing John will not be seen at all this season, after encountering yet another setback.

The 9yo has not been sighted for well over twelve months now; last seen racing in the 2017 edition of the Savills Chase at Leopardstown with Robbie Power aboard, where he finished a lacklustre seventh.

Sizing John - who also landed Punchestown and Irish Gold Cups in that incredible season two years ago, has since suffered multiple training issues which has prevented his return to the track, including the defence of his Cheltenham crown a year later.

Harrington said on her Unibet blog on Tuesday: "Unfortunately Sizing John has met with a setback and he will miss the remainder of this season. After routine exercise yesterday, I wasn’t happy with him and our vet came down and examined him.

"He has confirmed to me that he has met with a setback, which means that he won’t run at Cheltenham or Punchestown.

"His owners have been informed and, naturally, they are very disappointed, as is everyone at Commonstown."

"We'll do what is best for him and we’ll speak to our veterinary team over the coming weeks and months. We'll keep everyone posted on his progress."

Despite not being seen for over a year, he had been priced around the 16/1 mark for this year's new-sponsored Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup next month.

Sporting the silks of the late Ann and Alan Potts, he could have been the first horse since the Paul Nicholls-trained Kauto Star to reclaim the Cheltenham Gold Cup in ten years, but sadly that appears to no longer be the case.

He was due to run in this Saturday's Red Mills Chase at Gowran Park, Ireland as preparation, however he has been withdrawn, with a return date very much in the unknown.

Sizing John had been a revelation since stepping up to three miles for the first time in February 2017, having had to settle as second fiddle to Douvan in the two mile division.

Incredibly, he finished second or third to Willie Mullins superstar six times, most of which in the days for Henry De Bromhead - including second in the Arkle, and third in the Supreme the year before.

To date he has recorded five Grade One victories, four of which over fences, and hopefully we see him return to the track one day fitter and better than ever before.